What is Chemical Engineering?

Chemical Engineering is that branch of Engineering concerned with the use of physical and chemical methods to convert raw materials into finished products If you are thinking of becoming a Chemical Engineer, then you are thinking of learning how you can turn for instance, crude oil (a raw material), to various finished products (consumer products) like petrol, kerosene, diesel, grease, insecticide etc, or palm kernel, . into palm oil, or timber into wood, paper, etc.

Qualifications: For anyone to be a Chemical Engineer, he must have studied the sciences - chemistry, physics, biology and of course Mathematics and English. In some cases, geography may also be included. Further Mathematics is a definite plus as what you will be taught in the secondary level as further mathematics is actually the ordinary mathematics youll do at the university level. As a matter of fact, an institution like the University of Lagos has made Further Mathematics a must have for admission from the 200212003 session. At the JAMB level, the subjects required are mathematics, physics, chemistry and of course English.

First Two Years of Study: The basic subjects-of physics, chemistry and mathematics are emphasized in the first two years of the five-year programme. Lectures and laboratory work are conducted in the appropriate areas. In addition, introductory courses in Computer Programming, StoichIometry, and the flow of Matter and heat are taught in the second year. 

Third Year: In the third year, core Chemical Engineering subjects are introduced. Instructions are given on Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics, Chemical Reaction Kinetics, Separation Processes, Particulate System and Transport Phenomena.

 Fourth Year: In the f6urth year, you will be given further grounding in basic Chemical Engineering courses. Lectures are given in Biochemical Engineering, Transport phenomena, Chemical Reaction Engineering, Chemical Engineering Analysis and Principles of Plant Design. In most of these courses, you will be required to carry out Laboratory Tests. You will also be required to proceed on a six-month industrial training, the aim of which is to familiarize you with the real life situation as a Chemical Engineer. This, in addition to at least three months of such supervised industrial training in the third year, is a requirement for graduation.

Fifth Year: The fifth year programme provides for liberal studies in Economics, Management and Law with the view of broadening the students scope. Design, Control and Industrial Chemistry are key core courses while at least two options out of Biochemical Engineering, Petroleum Production Engineering, Sugar Technology, Polymer Engineering, Water and Air Pollution Pulp and Paper Technology is desired.

A course on Chemical Engineering entrepreneurship is also introduced to assist the students in developing their business tendencies: Each student is also required to complete a comprehensive design report as well as a research project supervised by an academic staff. For you to succeed as a Chemical Engineer, you must be upright and willing to study always- theres no room for laziness. Successful Chemical Engineers have said that one useful tip is that you should go over your books after the days work in class - never leave them to pile up. This is because the work is so much that if you leave them to pile, you may not catch up in good time.

Job Opportunities: In any organization where raw materials are required to generate finished (consumer) products, then there is a job for a Chemical Engineer. Such organizations cut across the Petrol- Chemical Industries, to the Food and Beverage industries, Paint manufacturing industries, Pharmaceuticals, Rubber industries, etc. However, as a Muslim Chemical Engineer, you must live within the limits of Allaah and realize that certain manufacturing industries are not for you as a result of the kind of finished products that come out from them. Clear examples of such industries are Alcoholic beverage industries and the tobacco industries.

Remember, Allaah says, "0 you who believe! Intoxicants (al/ kinds of alcoholic drinks... are an abomination of shaytans handiwork. So avoid strictly all that (abomination) in order that you may be successful" (05:90) Lastly, you must realize that just with any and everything you do, constant duaa (prayer) always makes the difference. Therefore, make Duaa to Allaah constantly. May Allaah bless you, Amin.

This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited

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